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  • Writer's pictureCara Hodge

Child & family portraits Dublin. Black & white faves so far...

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

UPDATED POST. This post was written in 2022, here is a quick update with some recently edited black & white child portraits from different recent shoots.

Black & white child & family portraits Dublin is my FAVORITE genre of photography. Most of my personal work is black & white, of my children at home.

I have worked a lot on refining my color photography since starting my professional family photography business Dublin. However, black & white child portraits have my heart. There is something about a black & white which gets under the skin. Perhaps it's because color is our everyday reality. We see in color and the colors around us can be absolutely stunning - who doesn't want to remember the colors of an autumn morning, our loved ones eyes, hair....? With that said, a black & white strips away color to the essentials of gesture & expression. In that way it, for me, goes under the surface of things to the very bones!

Here is a favorite of my boy under the leaves of the fig tree at home in the garden. I love how the veins on the leaves give a feeling of life to the portrait, almost like the tree & the boy are one. I love to use trees in my photography (emotive family portraits/Girl under the apple tree)

boy staring through lush leaves of a fig tree. at home natural family photography dublin
The Fig Tree

So much more of child & family photography are spontaneous moments. Intriguing gestures and enigmatic expressions.

For a great black & white child portrait you need great contrasts between highlights & shadows. Shade & light. Black & white.

I don't do black & white color conversions from color images. I layer on different black & white tones to create depth & tones to my classic, signature black & white. All my family, child & baby galleries will have black & whites in them, and they are always a favorite. You can see also timeless black & white in my newborn & baby galleries (Natural newborn at home. In black & white)

In this other recent fave, my house in France has many old paintings (still to be hung). Here a painting in a gilt frame with a fierce looking man matched my son's intense gaze as he leans against the frame. Sometimes with my own kids, I don't have time for long sessions. In 15 minutes or less I have to try and get a picture I love.

Sometimes props can be a way into making more emotive child & family portraits (black & white family photography with a measuring tape)

I do mini family photography Dublin sessions in my local area of Blackrock & Seapoint.

a boy leaning against a portrait if a severe duke, where the child's face matches expression in the painting. emotive, multipls ward winning child and family photographer dublin. candid, dramatic child portraits
The Duke

I am wanting to do more couples, engagement & surprise proposal photo shoots in Dublin (watch this space for a new & spruced up couples page here on my website! In the meantime a recent couples photo shoot I did using an old wheelbarrow as a prop.

I actually love this one in color too, but I love how a black & white can reduce a portrait to its simplest elements. The action of this handsome young man pushing his girlfriend in a wheelbarrow!

handsome young man with long hair pushing gorgeous girl with braided hair in a wheelbarrow. couples and surprise proposals photography Dublin
Couple in a wheelbarrow

young handsome man in hawain style patterned shirt undone showing chest with his girlfriend  leaning against him. couples photo shoots by cara hodge photography in dublin

Finally - or this blog is going to be endless - a recently edited picture of my nephew playing with his sister. I love his amusement as his sister is lying on the carpet with her hair fanned out. In black & white it is so easy to focus on emotion & expression!

brother laughing and chuckling at his sister lying with arms spread on carpet next to him and hair fanned out. at home natural family photographer dublin. photographing babies, newborns and children

As well as emotive child portraits, black & white is perfect for documentary family photography. Capturing candid raw moments of children interacting with their family or environment. Again, b & w can focus on the gestures, movement and expressions making really emotive & dramatic moments really pop! (Unscripted Documentary Family Photography)

You can also see more documentary family photography in Untamed Summer Story.

Below: 2022/ Introducing newborn photography in color & black & white.

Many of these child portraits are from the 3 month period of lock down in Blackrock, Dublin, when we were confined to our home. Along with the rest of the world

I made the most of the dramatic window light for portraits, and likewise the skylight in the bathroom. Window light is very important for at home family pictures including newborn photography Dublin.

When I do an at home newborn or family photo shoot Dublin, I love to look out for good lighting spots in your home. When I arrive in your home, I might arrive 10 mins early to see where the light is best in your home. Where it hits a wall or bounces off a mirror. Where there is a lot of contrast in the light, or low light, I know this will result in some good black & white family portraits.

If it's a personal child portrait of one of my own children, I might add a prop that is in the environment. For example, I love the addition of the teacup in the child portrait in the bathroom. The apple in the portrait of my son with apples. Or the addition of the tulips with my son lying on the carpet next to the window of my bedroom.

The little details add to the intrigue of a portrait.

I have a mix of BOTH black & white and color in my family galleries. I used to ask my families to pick & choose their favorite pictures, but I don't do this anymore. I provide a selection of hand edited pictures that I select myself. The number of pictures depends on the chosen package, but start at 30 carefully hand edited digital images. For more info, please see prices & frequently asked questions.

I am an award winning family photographer Dublin. I specialize in emotive child, baby & newborn portraits

Natural family photographer Dublin: Please contact me to arrange your family photo shoot. At home or a place you love. For mentoring in black & white photography, also using props to create more emotive child portraits, please get in contact!

Cara xx

boy in bath with teacup on side of bath and slicked back wet hair. award winning child and family photographer dublin. black & white family portraits

boy under apple tree holding an apple against his chest and tangled branches full of apples. emotive child and family portrait photographer dublin. natural child and family photo shoots. internationally published

boy leaning on side of bath with tulip in a cup. child & family portraits dublin by award winning photographer Cara Hodge
Bath Boy

cat passing a boy, half obscuring his face as he sits in bath and giving him cat ears.

boy with tulips fanning around his face as he lies back on carpet. child and family portraits dublin by cara hodge. at home child and family photographer

mum, dad and newborn on sofa, mum and dad staring lovingly at newborn girl curled on dad's lap., black & white newborn portrait. at home natural newborn photographer dublin
Brand New

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